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Egypt Central Bank Says Current Account Deficit Narrows

Egypt Central Bank Says Current Account Deficit Narrows

Thursday, 10 January, 2019 - 15:30
Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters are seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt, September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Cairo- Asharq Al-Awsat
Egypt's central bank said on Thursday that the current account deficit narrowed to $1.751 billion in the three months to end-September from an apparently revised $1.754 billion a year earlier.

Last year the central bank had put the July-September 2017 figure at $1.64 billion.

The trade deficit increased to $9.90 billion from $8.91 billion, with exports rising 16 percent to $6.79 billion and imports 13 percent to $16.68 billion.

Petroleum exports surged 58 percent to $2.81 billion and imports climbed 27 percent to $3.50 billion, the central bank said in its quarterly balance of payments report.

Remittances from workers abroad, a major source of foreign currency, edged up to $5.91 billion in the quarter from $5.82 billion a year earlier. The central bank apparently revised last year's figure, which it had previously put at $5.97 billion.

Partly to attract foreign investment, Egypt in late 2016 cut the value of its currency by about half against the dollar as part of a three-year, $12 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It also implemented a value-added tax and has been slashing energy subsidies.

Net foreign direct investment fell to $1.01 billion in July-September from $1.84 billion, revised from $1.58 billion, and net petroleum investment fell to $482.1 million from about $912.7 million a year earlier.

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